Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Public Library

I am technically finishing up two jobs right now before I take the bar in July. One is at the Attorney General office and the other is with the professor I've worked with for a few years. She and I are desperately trying to finish up a paper ASAP on online contracting (my apologies to the 4% of you who got so bored that you died just now). What this means is that I'm sort of splitting my days, spending a little time on each project. I occasionally attempt the contract research at public locations rather than at home, knowing very well that the "at home" option is not one that I'm capable of performing without long naps on the floor. It always starts out with the best of intentions, usually with me sitting up straight and alert with a laptop in front of me, repeating motivational statements out loud with the occasional fist pump. Then within 3 minutes I make the first mistake of finding a blanket to wrap myself in. About 30 seconds later I decide that I'll be more productive if I lay down on the floor, even though I know very well that trying to type and research while lying down is actually incredibly uncomfortable. It's usually 2 minutes after that that I begin my 6-8 hour nap (nap for me=laying silently, but awake, thinking about things that will never, ever, be important, like how much weight could I lose before dying* or would I be able to distinguish between people if everyone was bald**).

So having learned my lesson on more occasions that I would like to admit, long ago I decided that work-time can never happen at home for me. Fortunately I'm quite productive when in public places, partly because I have this totally irrational fear that people are judging me if I'm on Facebook or YouTube instead of a website that looks incredibly boring. This is most irrational when my choice of work venue takes me to the Salt Lake Library where I'm probably not only the only person who has anything productive to do at all, but I'm also the only person who is not screaming at someone across the table with a mullet about whose turn it is to do laundry (I'm actually not kidding when I tell you I have witnessed this exact argument by two separate couples at the library in the last week). I think, naturally, adults without children who hang out at the public library in the early afternoon on a weekday don't have much going on.

Yet despite the entertainment happening around me, I'm still able to get quite a bit done. That was until the other day when the following conversation took place (names have been changed):

Man: Do you have a cigarette?
Woman: Does it look like I do?
Man: You always have a cigarette.
Woman: You already owe me like 900 cigarettes.
Man: No! I gave you some beer yesterday!
Woman: Oh yeah. Well like 200 then.
Man: That's more like it. So can I have a cigarette?
Woman: Fine. But you can't smoke in the library again. (Again?)
Man: Fine, I'll go outside.
Woman: And not just downstairs like last time. You have to go outside.
Man: I know!
Woman: And we can't smoke in front of the kids no more. They don't brush their teeth enough as it is. The last thing we need now is for their teeth to rot because they're smokin'.

So many things I'm learning in the public library: some beer is roughly the equivalent of 700 cigarettes, you shouldn't smoke if you're a child and you don't brush your teeth often enough, and the public library smells like cigarettes apparently because people can get away with smoking inside. Mystery solved on that last one.

~It Just Gets Stranger



  1. There are so many trashy people that live in the city. That is definitely one of the things I don't miss since I moved.

    Now I just have to deal with the multitude of mormon moms who love scrap-booking.*

    Sigh. It's a lose-lose situation.

    *sorry if you're a mormon mom who loves scrapbooking...or if you're trashy.

  2. the public library is a very interesting place...and very entertaining. I don't know how people get anything done there, there is just too much to watch.

  3. I'm so glad you answered our own questions at the very end. (Now you have me thinking about a world where everyone is bald)